NINETY-SIX DID NOT GET TO TESTIFY
It was a standing-room-only crowd in Anchorage.
After lackluster participation in the first three public hearings in Juneau, Nome, and Kotzebue, dozens of people were not able to testify at all at the Anchorage hearing on Ballot Measure 1, the salmon initiative that would drastically impact almost all development in Alaska.
The hearing lasted two hours, and with two minutes for each testifier, the clock ran out before all had their say.
Attendees had to be seated in an adjacent room at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office, and others stood at the doorway or in the hall.
Testimony ran heavily against the initiative. Some 41 were opposed and just 15 were in favor of it. Ninety-six more had signed up, but did not get to testify.
The first to testify in favor of Ballot Measure 1 from a Facebook Livestream event that was being held outside the building was a man from Bellingham, Wa:
Speaking for the initiative in person was Stephanie Quinn-Davidson, the wife of the newest Anchorage Assembly member, Austin Quinn-Davidson, who said that mining and development laws are ineffective in protecting salmon habitat and must be strengthened.
The opposition to the measure was led by Aaron Schutt, CEO of Doyon Ltd., a major Native-owned corporation.
Some supporters of the measure didn’t show up because the Alaska Center for the Environment had sent out a mailer that encouraged people to testify at the old Legislative Information Office address on 4th Avenue. The LIO moved last year to Benson Blvd. A corrected mailer was sent out, but likely too late for some people.
Hearings continue around the state:
Sept. 21, 10 am-noon: Sitka, Harrigan Centennial Hall
Sept. 24, 2-4 pm: Fairbanks Legislative Information Office
Sept. 25, 2-4 pm: Bethel Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center
Sept. 29, 2-4 pm: Dillingham, Bristol Bay Campus
Oct. 13, 1-3 pm: Statewide phone testimony only